It’s finally here. After weeks of preparation and publicity, the biggest event in the university sporting calendar is upon us. With the much-anticipated Ice Hockey fixture kicking off the weekend’s action in just a few hours time, Oscar Mayhew and James Roberts preview their personal highlights of Varsity 2016.
I’m particularly looking forward to how this supposedly fierce competition translates from mudslinging on YikYak to the sporting arena.
Varsity 2016 will be my first, and I enter it with some confusion. Do people really go? Why Ice Hockey? Are Coventry really that bad?
What is clear however, is that it’s meant to be something I’m looking forward to. Touted as the weekend of the Warwick calendar, you can’t miss the #TeamWarwick banners around campus. Promo of imposing posters of the university’s leading sportsmen and women and motivational video compilations are abound, and I’d be surprised if students were unsure as to what was happening on campus this coming weekend.
I’ll admit that, perhaps naively, I’ve bought into it. Whether it’s just because it’s a chance to show a bit of pride in Warwick, or only just because I fancy watching a bit of sport, I’m excited for this weekend. But then again, I’m not someone who shies away from a day on the touchline, and it’ll be interesting to see how much this excitement actually sweeps the wider student community.
But the nature of Varsity is rivalry, and I’m particularly looking forward to how this supposedly fierce competition between the two universities translates from mudslinging on YikYak to the sporting arena. If the Coventry lot turn around, do they actually earn 180 degrees? When Coventry hit rock bottom when losing Varsity for the 27th year in a row, do they get a degree in Geology? So many burning questions to be answered.
I’ll be there, from Cryfield to Desso, rain or shine. Hopefully you’ll be, and if not, make sure you follow the Boar Sport for all the updates and commentary you could ever possibly want.
Running out at the Ricoh is very different to making your way past the dog-walkers and joggers of Cryfield.
Big sporting occasions demand a venue that reflects the magnitude of the event. As far as university sport is concerned, they don’t come much bigger than the Ricoh Arena. The home of London Wasps and Coventry City FC hosts the Varsity finale on Sunday, with the Men’s Rugby fixture bringing a packed weekend of sport to a close.
There will be a unique atmosphere surrounding the game; in the nicest possible way, running out at the Ricoh is very different to making your way past the dog-walkers and joggers of Cryfield. The men’s Rugby has been highly publicized and promises to attract a large crowd, unlike your average BUCS attendance of a few substitutes and a Boar reporter here and there. The presence of hundreds of fans will be yet another new factor for the players to deal with; making the day that little bit more special.
It will be fascinating to see how the players cope with the change of setting. Most will have watched a match at the Ricoh but that is nothing like playing there. The warm up will be more focused than usual, the pre-match huddle more intense, the celebrations for each try more excessive. Winning at such a venue must surely feel sweeter than normal – the hope is that Warwick’s players are experiencing this come 7pm on Sunday.
And let’s face it, Warwick are the favourites. Though Coventry are also in BUCS division Midlands 1A, the Magenta army are stone-cold last. Warwick are just one win away from second place in the table so if league form is anything to go by, the ‘away’ side should have the edge. As with all sporting contests, the prospect of winning provides a heightened sense of anticipation.
Warwick’s players will be desperate to seize the moment and secure the win that rounds off what we hope will be another successful Varsity. There’s a reason that this fixture has been selected to end this year’s tournament – it is an occasion not to be missed.